Talking Real Money - Investing Talk

Talking Real Money - Investing Talk

34-year financial talk radio veteran, Don McDonald and former host of Serious Money on PBS, Tom Cock, join forces to talk about real money issues. In each episode, they solve real money problems, dole out real investing (not speculating) advice, and really explain the financial issues that effect all of us. Plus, it's actually fun! Talking Real Money is a podcast designed to provide the real help we all need to enjoy a really great future. Call in with your questions anytime at 855-935-TALK (8255).


November 27, 2023 25 mins
A new study of Americans financial knowledge shows that a sizable portion of us are woefully uniformed about financial matters. Tom and Don share the results and ideas for improving our fiscal education. Plus, listeners ask: What do we think of a move from bonds into T-bills? Is a financial advisor needed and why? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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This is the last show of Thanksgiving week, as Tom and Don are taking time off. In the episode, we discuss the many problems with 401k and 403b plans that keep employees from doing as well as they might in other types of accounts. Listeners want to know: Does it make sense to invest almost $500,000 in a jumbo CD? Why don't we make longer episodes and suggest people listen at higher speeds? What do (did) we think of Bob Brinker? ...
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November 21, 2023 46 mins
Today, we talk about the biggest reason housing prices have stayed so high in a period of rising rates. We also consider the right time to sell a home and downside and the impact a changing real estate sales market might have on real estate agents careers. We discuss the foolishness of keeping money in low-yield savings accounts. We also hear from listeners: How should a brokerage accoiunt be consolidated? Getting a lot on a savi...
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November 20, 2023 28 mins
If you want to reduce the amount you pay the IRS in 2024, there are several things you can do before the year is up to reduce your tax burden. If you wait until it's time to file next April, your deduction options are severely limited. Listeners ask us: If I convert one IRA to a Roth, must I convert them all? How do you choose between financial advisors with widely divergent strategies? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit m...
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November 17, 2023 14 mins
In this episode, Don addresses the following: Why should a portfolio be rebalanced regularly? Is a state teacher's pension pre-tax money or can it be rolled over tax-free? What is the difference between the pre-tax, Roth, and after-tax 403b options? Finally, a listener appreciates the Medicare episode. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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November 16, 2023 25 mins
As AI grows exponetially more knowledgable, are investors ready to move from human to many investing advice? Are there skills that people have that artificial intelligence can't mimic? Plus, listeners ask: What is the best order to draw from various types of retirement accounts? Which is the better Avantis total market ETF: AVGE or AVGV? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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November 15, 2023 46 mins
When Tom finally sits down with the finance guy to buy his car, he is pitched a bunch of extra warranties and given some terrible investing advice. So, today, we discuss all of the mistaken beliefs people have about investing. Then, we hear from listeners asking: Is it better to buy houses or invest in stocks and bonds? What is the required minimum distribution formula for retirement accounts? Finally, we get a call from someone...
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November 14, 2023 45 mins
With U.S. stock prices running hot versus the rest of the world, could your portfolio benefit from more international stocks? Tom and Don share some numbers and historical data. We ask, is Robin Hood's 1% IRA contribution worth it? Don reads a bad review. Then, because of technical difficulties, we hear from just one listener: How should a young person's retirement be invested in Vanguard funds? Learn more about your ad choices. V...
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November 13, 2023 23 mins
We share yet another example of the premise that luck is behind the success of most professional money managers. A new book portrays Ray Dalio, the founder of the giant hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, as just another average investment guesser who may have gotten lucky in the past. Then, listeners ask: Should I sell old I-Bonds and pay the penalty to invest in newer bonds with a fixed rate plus inflation adjustments? How shoul...
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November 10, 2023 19 mins
This Friday, Don answers questions about: How many beneficiaries of a 529 plan can transfer $35,000 into a Roth IRA? Does a micro-cap fund have a place in a portfolio? Should a retirement lump sum be investing in rolling maturity fixed annuities? Is there any reason to NOT fund a 457 plan? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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November 9, 2023 21 mins
The average American family’s net worth has risen to 1 million dollars, yet few of us have the money for a $500 million yacht. However, there are 16 million mini-millionaires in the United States. How do you join the millionaire (or upper-middle) class? LIsteners ask: Does it make sense to tax-loss sell a total bond ETF to a tax-free bond ETF? Should you sell funds when they have gone up 20%? Learn more about your ad choices. V...
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November 8, 2023 42 mins
Retiring later seems like a viable option for those who failed to save enough to afford retirement. What is the reality of working past 65? What are the new 2024 retirement plan contribution limits? We take listeners' questions: Should liquid money be invested in a 13-month CD? Can a portion of a parent's HSA be used for an adult child? Can a storage unit buyer transfer old savings bonds to his name? Should a small pension be w...
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November 7, 2023 43 mins
After failing several times, the Department of Labor will try again to make all retirement plan advisors act as true fiduciaries. The insurance industry will be suing to keep you paying them high fees and commissions. If you want excitement, find it anywhere but in investing. What are the lessons of the convicted fraud perpetrated by Sam Bankman-Freid and FTX? Our listeners want to know: Should an investor move from one small-cap ...
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November 6, 2023 23 mins
Buying a home may not be as smart as renting. Rising interest rates have pushed the cost of home ownership far above the price of renting a similar home. Yet, home prices have not fallen enough to offset the differences. Plus, what does "kit and caboodle" mean? Listeners ask: In order to create a simpler portfolio, does it make sense to wait until prices of existing securities recovers? In a somewhat hodgepodge portfolio, should ...
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November 3, 2023 15 mins
It's Friday, and Don takes your questions: What's with the weird ticker symbols for retirement plan funds? Does it make sense only to fund a mega-backdoor Roth IRA? Is it smart to loan a child money for a home? Should money from a 401k be used to pay off a mortgage? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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November 2, 2023 24 mins
Have small investors finally gotten smarter than the market? Using misleading data from Robin Hood, The Wall Street Journal tries to make traders appear prescient. Then, we answer these questions: Which Vanguard bond fund do we prefer for an IRA? What is a Social Security benefit reduction, and why should you wait to collect? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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November 1, 2023 41 mins
Every year we are inundated with ads for Medicare Advantage plans. So, are there any real advantages and what are the downsides? One caller criticizes Medicare Advantage programs Others ask: About contributing to a company 401k plan at age 60 with few retirement assets? What can be done with a bad company retirement plan consultants? Does it make sense to invest in target date ETFs in retirement? What some good investments for ...
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October 31, 2023 40 mins
Don goes it alone for a couple of episodes. It appear that mist of the financial setbacks over the past fifty years have followed periods of rapidly rising rates. What can you do to protect against risng (and falling) interest rates? What is the historical norm for rates? Plus, Don talks about the first-of-its-kind target date ETF. Callers ask: What should be done with his stock portfolio in the current market? Why is my retireme...
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October 30, 2023 26 mins
In this episode, we open Don's "good" book, Financial Fysics to the section on the power of a well-diversified investment portfolio. We take some questions, too: What should be done with two maturing annuities? How should a $5 million portfolio be invested to reduce taxes? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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October 28, 2023 30 mins
On today's Q&A show: Why is an attractive-sounding annuity a bad idea? Are there times when a 403b shouldn't be rolled into an IRA? How can someone complain about insurance products in a 403b? When can a contribution be made to a mid-year HSA? What's the best way to invest in various types of accounts? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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